Brian Cookson is the president of UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) and he’s been surprised by some recent comments about corticosteroids. The comments were made by David Lappartient, who is the European Cycling Union president. Lappartient has asked for a ban on corticosteroids, as well as the painkiller, Tramadol. Lappartient is vying for Cookson’s job. Cookson wants to serve another term as UCI president. So, these two are rivals. An election which is slated for the 21st of September, 2016, in Norway, will decide matters. Right now, Cookson is absorbing his rival’s latest comments. Cookson has already responded to the comments in some depth. However, he may have more to say in the future.
The original comments from Lappartient were made in a letter which was sent to the MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling). Lappartient wrote to the MPCC’s president (Roger Legeay) in order to let him know his own opinion about corticosteroids. Lappartient believes that corticosteroids should be banned from competitions. He thinks that they should be included with anti-doping guidelines as banned substances. He feels the same way about Tramadol.
The UCI president also remarked that riders should be placed on sick leave until they have cortisol levels which are back to normal, following any illness which necessitates the usage of corticosteroids. Riders should be banned from competitions until they do have normal cortisol levels. In addition, he believes that the global governing body for cycling should be more committed to putting this rule into place, as it’s not a complicated thing to implement. As well, he feels that Tramadol should be banned in the world of competitive cycling and he encourages WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) to include corticosteroids and Tramadol on their lists of illegal medications.
Cookson responded to these new comments by stating that the UCI has already tried to put Tramadol on the list of WADA banned substances. In the past, this medication has been blamed for peloton crashes. It’s quite a potent form of prescription medication which is designed to turn off pain signals within the body.
How Are Corticosteroids Used?
Corticosteroids are utilized in order to treat a variety of health issues. For riders, therapeutic use exemptions are necessary if they want to use these medications and compete. A lot of people think that riders get performance-enhancing advantages from corticosteroids. Their usage by riders is controversial.
The president of the UCI commented that WADA would need to work alongside UCI in order to resolve this issue.The relationship between UCI and WADA is much different than it was a few years ago, when the two governing bodies were perceived as being at odds. Cookson mentioned that Lappartient should know that corticosteroids are actually banned already and that the Cycling Anti-doping Federation and UCI are partnering with WADA in order to discuss detection issues. Cookson also said that he’s aware that a case has been made to WADA to put Tramadol on the banned list, but that the process is still ongoing.
Cookson also stated that attempting to add substances to the list of banned substances, without the agreement of WADA, would mean a challenge by the first athlete to be charged. This challenge would cause plenty of problems. Cookson added that he sent a letter to Roger Legeay of MPCC which stated that everyone wants the same goal, but WADA’s involvement and approval are needed. Cookson feels that the world governing body of cycling has been proactive in terms of battling doping and creating completely independent arrangements via CADF, the tribunal and legal anti-doping services.
Since Cookson and Lappatient are competing for a big job, they are both invested in putting their views across to the general public right now.